There’s a symbiotic relationship between the health of humankind and the health of the planet. Not only is our Earth the provider of every resource we need — food and water, sunlight and soil — she’s the only home we’ve got. Just by being here, we’re all inherently a part of nature, too.
Sometimes it feels like humankind has lost touch with the natural world, and resources are extracted without respect or reciprocity. In any good relationship, reciprocation is crucial. It's the practice of finding balance in giving and taking.
Think about it this way. Imagine you had a friend that constantly took from you (she never gave back that Wolven set she borrowed, she takes food out of your fridge, she never chips in for gas on road trips). You might feel generous at first, and like you’re just being a good friend. But over time, you’ll probably end up feeling resentful. When a relationship is out of balance, it means one side isn't getting the respect it deserves.
When humans lose respect for nature, we lose touch with our natural tendencies towards play, connection, getting dirty, and moving our bodies. These are some of the core issues that we face today, and they’re the exact medicines we should be prescribing for a deeper connection with Earth. You might not be able to change the whole world on your own, but deepening your own connection with your local environment can help you spread this energy out in the world, and feel more in tune with your human nature.
5 easy ways to feel more connected with the planet
1. Plant a garden or take care of a houseplant
The act of nurturing plants can help you gain more appreciation for the natural world. Take sustainability to the next level with fruits or vegetables you can harvest and eat right at home — like tomatoes or herbs.
2. Plan a trip to a local farm or botanical garden.
Learning from farmers, botanists, and horticulturalists about how they care for their plants will help you appreciate how humans work in synergy with the Earth.
3. Shop Local & Organic
When you can, purchase food from your local farmers market or prioritize shopping organic. There’s so much value in being able to purchase food right from the individual who worked so hard to grow it. Shopping locally is also a great way to reduce your overall impact on the environment.
4. Plan a community clean-up
Either at a local park, beach, or even just picking up trash in your own neighborhood, planning a local clean-up is a great way to show respect for your local environment, and get to know your community through showing care together.
5. Spend 5 minutes every day observing nature
This one’s easy, but super important. Try spending just 5 minutes every day observing the natural world around you. It can be something as simple as admiring the tree in your front yard, or observing wildlife you see on your next walk. Setting intentional time aside to sit with nature will build your awareness and appreciation for our planet.
When you think about it, showing love to the Earth is showing love to yourself. If we can collectively deepen our connection and appreciation of nature, we just might feel a worldwide shift toward greater mental, physical, and spiritual health, too.